The southwestern Gaza province of Mozambique, where Zinave National Park lies, is water-scarce. The average annual rainfall in Mozambique is 800 mm, but in this region it fluctuates from 600 mm to as low as only 300 mm. Most of this rainfall occurs in the summer months, often in extreme tropical storms. In February this year, Zinave National Park battled against Tropical Storm Freddy, which brought a wave of 250–300 mm of rainfall in just three days, turning roads into rivers and airstrips into lakes.
Thanks to the dedication of Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) staff and support from Peace Parks Foundation, the team in Zinave National Park was able to weather the storm and has since been putting measures in place to secure reliable water sources, including waterholes supplemented by borehole pumps, for wildlife to access during the dry winter months. As the park’s warden, António Abacar says, winter “is a dry season period, and this is the only salvation for the animals.”
Zinave National Park boasts incredible biodiversity, with more than 200 tree species and 40 grass species. Following years of protracted war and hunting, the park has made great strides rewilding strides, introducing hundreds of animals, including elephant, herds of eland, and even rhino. Alongside wildlife protection activities, improving road infrastructure and upskilling rangers to conduct effective patrols, supplementing and sustaining waterholes with borehole pumps is another important measure to sustain species populations.
Borehole water plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health and vitality of water holes. As climate patterns shift and rainfall becomes ever more unpredictable, borehole water supplies offer a dependable lifeline for wildlife and habitats. It supplements the natural water sources, ensuring a continuous and viable supply for various animal species. Access to water is not just a matter of survival, but also an essential for biodiversity and thriving ecosystems.
As part of the co-management agreement signed in 2015 for Zinave National Park between ANAC and Peace Parks Foundation, the restoration process of the park is ongoing. To find out more about this incredible revival journey, visit parquezinave.gov.mz.